Pain Med Difference - chronic VS breakthrough | Arthritis Information


What is the difference between the pain meds given for chronic pain VS break-through pain?

After reading the definitions for each type of pain, I gather that one of the pain meds would have to be "fast acting", right?
So... what type of pain med is "fast acting"?
What type of pain med would be given for acute onset of pain?
Sorry for my ignorance, but most of ya know I am not much of pain pill taker and I just am really ignorant about pain meds.
joonie2008-02-19 01:16:20Hi Joonie, I take Endone 5mg for immediate pain relief and for the chronic background type pain I take a slow release tramal or oxycontin.  Therefore the Endone is for breakthrough pain, regards Janie. Thanks for the reply, Janie.
So there is a pain med that works faster than most pain meds that are taken. That is pretty cool.
Joonie, there are several fast-acting pain meds. I take Methadone for my chronic pain, 2 tablets, 4 times a day. But for the breakthru pain, you really need something to act faster. At the moment, my breakthru med is Dilaudid, which I can take up to 4 times a day.
But there are different long acting and breakthru meds. Everyone reacts differently to these, so it often takes a while to find the right combination. Before this, I was taking morphine for breakthru, but it stopped working as well for me.
Hope this helps a little.
Hugs, Nini
Thanks for the reply Nini! Yeah, Joonie, there are two types...sustained release and fast acting that they use for us.

Things like Endone, Methadone, Panadeine Forte...sorry, the names are probably different over there...they are the fast acting and used for breakthrough pain. So you take one of them and it will last say, 4 hours. Short, acute, fast acting.

Then there is the sustained release...which for chronic pain sufferers like us is what they use to control the pain in general. These are slow acting, and may last anything from 12 hours to 24hours to 72 hours.

MS Contin - 12 Morphine,  Kapanol - 24 hour morphine, Fentynal Patch which lasts three days or 72 hours. Sorry, again the names are probably different over there.

In my experience, as a chronic pain sufferer, the doctors prefer to have you on a sustained release medication and then bring in a fast acting for any breakthorough pain.

So me, I am on a Fentynal patch...that's my sustained release and then I take Endone for breakthrough pain. So some days I take no Endone at all and others, like today,

Thanks for the reply, Cordy. Glad to be a help, Joonie. As far as the names of the drugs differing. If you googled sustained release pain relief - US and fast acting pain relief - would probably get an idea of what they are called in your part of the world. Just the brand names sometimes differ.

Good, start another thread...I always find your questions and thoughts insightful, Joonie. Joonie, 

I have just been Rxed a long acting pain pill oxycotin and the breakthrough pain pill (like when I am trying to walk or clean the house or like yesterday...when I just have pain no matter what) I have vicodin.  The oxycotin is 20mg every 12 hrs and the vicodin is 5/500's every 6 hours. 
Thanks for the reply, Shelly.
Hope you are feeling a little better today.